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Hardball Weekend

News/Business. The best of 'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'

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Hagel 13, John Mccain 7, Chuck Hagel 7, North Korea 6, Mccain 6, Washington 4, Us 4, Benghazi 3, Obama 3, South Carolina 3, California 3, Joe Mccarthy 3, Marco Rubio 3, America 2, Graham 2, North Koreans 2, Michigan 2, Fema 2, Iran 2, Murrow 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball Weekend    News/Business. The best of  
   'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'  

    February 17, 2013
    4:00 - 4:30am PST  

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is simply this, if i don't get up today and tell you what these people look for, exactly what i look for, exactly how it works, then the next child that gets molested is my fault because i didn't do my share to try to stop the next guy who needs help. >> i don't look at it as working in madness. i look at it as working where we are able to help people get stabilized on meds and have a better existence than they have had heretofor. >> it's going to be rocky, it's not going to be easy, but i'm in it for the long haul and there's not going to be any victims from my again. >> continue to try to understand this most dark side of human behavior and find a way to assist these patients to control themselves and i don't think we should stop trying. this is somebody's son, somebody's brother that we have
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here. some mother's heartbreak. >> in 2001, the supreme court ruled that sexually violent predators can be locked up indefinitely. but some say a loophole in california's sexual predator law allows offenders to gain release through a court hearing rather than completing or in some cases even beginning the five-stage program. california is the only state that requires a court review every two years for those committed. more than 50 offenders have won release this way since 1995. that's our report. thanks for watching. i'm john seiganthal. cruising for a bruising. let's play "hardball."
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good evening. i'm chris mathews in washington. let me start as butch cassidy once asked, who are these guys. what a ratty bunch. they spend their days holed up in the senate taking pot shots at the president, trying to bring down his defense chief, nasty they have nothing good to say for the country, nasty words to spew about the people running it or hoping to. john mccain who served the country admirbly has become an angry fellow taking an occasional break to see who is he, enough of this when his allies get out of hand. ted cruz starts attacking the loyalty of america, of one of mccain's fellow vets. the viciousness is something we haven't seen before because of its combination of mccarthyism and weird unconnectedness, attacking chuck hagel because no one will give info about the benghazi situation, even though hagel wasn't even in the government when benghazi happened. sick stuff.
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seems to be growing. the better he looks the worst these characters, inhofe, cruz and lindsey graham are determined to look. notice the smile on john boehner's face sitting behind the president at the state of the union. if you did you're imagining things. so afraid of the hard hating right are republicans these days of every stripe even boehner's scared of looking like he might actually like something barack obama had to say. to do that today is to risk political death in these days of republican defeat, anger, discontent and downright hatred. joy reid of the grio and michael steele, former chair of the republican national committee. both are msnbc analysts and good ones. is this delay on the hagel vote about playing for time, hoping new information comes out about him? "the new york times" reports anti-hagel groups are hoping for exactly that. quote, leaders of these groups said in interviews they expected their efforts to include more phone calls, urging conservative
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voters to tell their senators to vote no. new efforts to unearth embarrassing details from mr. hagel's past and potentially a new round of television advertisements pressuring democrats to drop their support for him. michael steele, it used to be a president got his cabinet. >> yep. >> now when you want your own defense chief, you get to get the entire opposition party to the last man and woman voting against it in what i don't even get is one reason. i mean if you ask all those republicans what did they do to filibuster this they won't give you one answer, each will come up with their own number. >> there is no reason to filibuster this nomination. the president made his choice, coming off a very, very strong election, and, you know, as much as, you know, i may have an issue here or there with something hagel said or did in the past this is the president's choice. he's going to be accountable to the president, not to the republicans in the congress. quite honestly, mccain put it out there.
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this is personal, not even political. this is the fact that this man bucked the party establishment in 2007 in his views on the war, i think legitimately so, and the fact of the matter is so what. how do you now -- >> he can't be -- barack obama, president obama's chief defense, because he agrees with barack obama on the war. >> yeah. >> i'm sorry, joy. that is the irony here. attacking him for being the guy who gets along with obama. president obama and chuck hagel agree on so many thing. they're friends. >> right. >> they have a positive view about the same things in the world. that's why he's going at it. i think the president is sticking his neck out for this guy. they agree on things. >> and mccain, somebody pointed out today that mccain said the statement back when he was a republican as if hagel is no longer a republican because he dares to agree with the guy hiring him to be the defense chief. mccain did put it out there today. >> dwight eisenhower wasn't a republican either because he wasn't a hawk and kept us out of
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endo china and the middle east and took the heat because he was a guy who knew what was going on in the world. >> you're not sufficiently republican if you don't want to bomb iran. it was ironic today when john mccain put it out there and said basically, chuck hagel was mean to president bush, criticized the iraq war, his fellow members of the senate thought he was not sufficiently loyal republican. that's pretty rich coming from john mccain who made it his life's work to oppose george w. bush. >> was it chuck hagel who said he had an illegitimate child with an african-american child and produced a south asian young woman. >> exactly. >> that stuff about his wife cindy being a drug addict. >> yeah. >> was that -- that was w.'s people. karl rove and that crowd. >> exactly. >> which of them did it but somebody did on that side and he forgives those people. >> that's right. >> and says this guy -- this must be some kind of weird transportation of emotion. anyway, yesterday john mccain something truly remarkable as my friend here said, michael, about
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a moment of pure honesty, exposed what's really behind his opposition to hagel. let's listen. >> there's a lot of ill will towards senator hagel because when he was a republican, he attacked president bush mercilessly. at one point said he was the worst president since herbert hoover. said that the surge was the worst blunder since the vietnam war. which is nonsense. and was very anti his own party and people. people don't forget that. >> should have forgotten the fact because he never did say he was the worst president since herbert hoover. wait until they start on you, michael. who put mccain in charge of determining chuck hagel's fate, apparently himself, the great eminence mitch mcconnell. he has deputized senator john mccain as the weather vane by which to judge what republicans should yield on the filibuster. might be a confounding decision
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since mccain seems to drift from one position to another, sometimes in a matter of hours. sunday mccain had this to say about the prospect of a filibuster against hagel. let's watch. >> we've never filibustered a presidential cabinet appointee and i don't think we should start here. >> on monday, which is a day later, of course, mccain was urging his colleagues on the armed services committee to vote on hagel's nomination saying, quote, i believe he has fulfilled the rigorous requirements that the committee demands. the next day, which is tuesday, he rebuked his colleague ted cruz for his criticism of hagel. >> hagel is an honorable man. he has served his country and no one on this committee in any way should impugn his character or his integrity. >> we're going to get to some of cruz's statements in the next segment. tuesday night, hours matter, mccain introduced a new wrinkle with senators graham and ayotte. he wrote a letter to the white
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house requesting more information about the white house did during the benghazi attack. he told foreign policy magazine, quote, we need to know what the president's conversations were. i would vote no on cloture on thursday unless the information is provided. by tuesday, actually by yesterday, almost every day of the week he's changed his mind, the white house responded to his satisfaction but still didn't vote for cloture. still wouldn't bring this matter up to a vote. here's his latest. let's watch. >> there are still questions outstanding. i believe that senators have the right to have those questions answered. senator from south carolina and senator from new hampshire had a response from the president today on the question that we had. but there are other questions. >> like can you give us a copy of every speech you ever gave? give us a dollar for dollar assessment of every dollar you ever made. if you don't tell us we're going to accuse you of getting money from the north koreans. joy, you're younger than me, i
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think, by a lot of years and i have it to tell you, this does -- we're going to get to this. i'm going to sell this second segment coming up. we went back and looked at how joe mccarthy did it. same techniques of innuendo, character assassination, based on nothing this guy is doing, cruz, who i don't know what he's running for. people say attorney general. i don't know what job he's applying for. i don't know why he's ruining his career with this crap. >> i think he was born in canada. you know, you said earlier in your introduction that john mccain occasionally remembers who he is. i'm starting to agree with joe klein. this is who john mccain is. this is a man who is showing no principle other than peak. turned on as you showed his supposed friend chuck hagel, supposed comrade in arms in a matter of hours to decide to brook this rear guard effort to drum up dirt on this poor man who has been through i think enough at this point in terms of trying to get barack obama the defense secretary that he wants. and they've [ inaudible ] kelly
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ayotte into their club because lieberman is gone. this band standing in the way of this guy getting an up or down vote. they have no precedent other than saying we're going to torture this guy because he turned against the iraq war, period. >> i'm not as tough as you are today. joy, i will say this, we'll know the true color of mr. mccain's feelings about life and values when that right wing crowd inevitably turns on his friend. >> yeah. >> and you know they will. >> they will. >> and they go to graham in the next primary fight in south carolina and he will have to stand up for his friend. >> thank you. >> coming up, are you now or have you ever been, those were the words that define the red baiting mccarthy era of politics in the '50s and ted cruz of texas demonstrated he would be comfortable having those words spill out of his mouth. guilt by innuendo guy. can president obama beat the nra? wayne lapierre's rantings about a world without gunses are easy
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to lampoon but may have the votes and support to block the real legislation. illinois has moved a step closer to becoming the next state to approve gay marriage. observers are worried right now they're losing the culture war on that front. for once i think they're right. and watergate, water hyphen gate. marco rubio's water bottle moment may be the image that haunts him. some of the other moments that fairly or not have come to define some po politicians, forever. this is "hardball," a place for politics. a talking car. but i'll tell you what impresses me. a talking train. this ge locomotive can tell you exactly where it is, what it's carrying, while using less fuel. delivering whatever the world needs, when it needs it. ♪ after all, what's the point of talking if you don't have something important to say? ♪
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we saw with his nomination something truly extraordinary which is the government of iran formally and publicly praising the nomination of a defense secretary.
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i would suggest to you that to my knowledge, that is unprecedented to see a foreign nation like iran publicly celebrating a nomination. >> just watching that reminded me of mccarthy. welcome back to "hardball." that's a sample of ted cruz's language about defense secretary nominee chuck hagel. here's what happened at his weekly news conference. the iranian foreign spokesman was asked about hagel's views on israel and u.s. sanctions on iran and as reuters reported the spokesman responded -- >> not exactly an extraordinary unprecedented celebration of hagel's nomination. cruz however used this kind of innuendo and guilt by association to remind us of another senator, senator joe mccarthy. see if you agree, however. a month after edward r. murrow's march 1954 see it now broadcast in which he exposed mccarthy's tactics, the senator accepted murrow's invitation to respond.
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here mccarthy uses a favorable tv review in a communist newspaper as evidence of murrow's connection to communism supposedly. let's listen. >> but take 30 seconds or so if i may to look through see who was giving comfort to our enemies. here is the communist daily worker of march 9th, containing several articles and a editorial all attacking mccarthy and the same issue, mr. murrow's program one of tonight's best bets on tv. >> well, also that week, senator cruz -- this week cruz took another opportunity to tar hagel with innuendo he may have received, catch this, may have received $200,000 from all places north korea. i don't think north korea has $200,000. let's listen. >> it may be that he spoke at radical or extreme groups or
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anti-israel groups and accepted financial compensation. we don't know. he could not even say that the $200,000 he received did not come directly from a foreign government and the question this committee asked, have you been paid directly by a foreign government, i would suggest it is every bit as relevant to know if that $200,000 that he's disclosed came from a foreign government -- it may be perfectly appropriate. we might conclude that it was benign, it was reasonable, but it is at a minimum relevant to know if that $200,000 he deposited in his bank account came directly from saudi arabia, came directly from north korea. >> in his 1953 hearing to investigate the voice of america for communist intill stration, senator mccarthy tried to discredit state department employee reid harris, insinuating his choice of legal representative 20 years earlier made him suspect. let's listen. >> civil liberties union provide you with an attorney at that
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time? >> i had money offers of attorneys and one was from the american civil liberties union, yes. >> the question is did the civil liberties union supply you with an attorney? >> they did supply an attorney. >> the answer is yes? >> the answer is yes. >> you know the civil liberties union has been listed for a front and doing work for the communist party? >> mr. chairman this was 193 2. >> i know it was in 1932. >> do you know they since have been listed as a front for doing work of the communist party? >> i do not know they have been listed so sir. >> you do not know. >> i have heard that mentioned or read that mentioned. >> we see similarities in these two senators. joining me is "the washington post" nia malika henderson and writing for the dallas morning news, wayne slater also the author of "bush's brain." i saw it this week and watched the way he sits there in that indietive manner of his, throwing out incredible innuendo like, unless you tell us where you got that speech money from
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we can assume it came from north korea. i'm sorry. how do you make comments like that when everybody knows they don't have a nickel to rub together up there, they got nothing, who would you speak to in north korea? just throwing that out so then he has to deny it and then he gets into the game of denies being an agent of the north koreans. this is mcmccarthyism. no other word for it. even looks like mccarthyism. >> he does. a certain condensation. this is six degrees of separation way of asking questions and an old ploy and done recklessly can really cause damage. the whole purpose of this kind of six degrees of separation questioning is not to find out something, a piece of information, it's to plant a false idea. maybe you got the money from a foreign source. maybe from north korea. maybe from a muslim [ inaudible ]. all i'm doing is asking a question. why won't you answer it. it is an amazing approach and when used recklessly, as i think in this early weeks of ted
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cruz's tenure, i think it invites the idea that he might look a little like joe mccarthy. >> you know, the comparison there, neil, with the way that mccarthy connected somebody because they had an aclu lawyer 21 years before or the fact that they even had -- somehow he said -- never listed as a communist front, that's nonsense. may have defended communist because they will defend anyone's rights, that's what they do, but to make that sort of weird connection that somehow this guy is a comi, this is what this guy is doing. look at this because the iranians would like to see somebody who wasn't a super hawk coming in as defense secretary, that's somehow makes him the best friend they had over there. look at the look on his face, that sarcastic look he's got. he looks like mccarthy looked the way he does this thing. go ahead. your thoughts. >> well, you know, he -- >> i'm trying to document this. >> he's a harvard trained lawyer, went to princeton, debate champion and you can see him employing those tactics here.
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i don't think any of this sort of innuendo and sort of guilt by association would fly in a courtroom, but i think in ted cruz you have someone who is essentially auditioning to be a jim demint with an attitude. conservatives want an attack dog and he's auditioning for that role. a tea party favorite. they like his style. but again, i think in some ways it certainly reflects what republicans are hoping to do over this next week, and that is, further chip away at hagel and hope that something will stick and another shoe will drop. >> nia malika henderson and wayne slater. >> up next, marco rubio's gulp might become the moment that defines the poor guy. another iconic moment, and grups that have crippled reputations of politicians in the past. it's going to be fun. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ female announcer ] research suggests cell health plays a key role throughout our lives.
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this is going to be fun. back to "hardball." to the side show. when marco rubio made that awkward grab for his water bottle during the state of the union response tuesday night i thought okay, he's going to be foe ever known as the thirsty one. too early to know if the episode will stick with him years from now down the line, wouldn't be the first time, for example, plenty of other politicians became that guy, after incidents that might be called insignificant. you will know what i'm talking about as soon as you hear these games. michael dukakis. thinking of a photo op that tanked literally. they started off as an attempt to show that dukakis was strong on defense when dukakis visited a michigan tank factory during his 88 presidential campaign. it backfired big time when the footage showed up in attack ads from his opponents george bush,
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portraying him as not serious on defense. unforgettable. next dan quayle, might think of a classroom full of kids and spelling test. . >> spell that again. add one little bit on the end. potato -- >> write phonetically. there you go. >> i think he was confusing the singular with the plural. that stuck around so long it showed up in an attack ad against his son ben who lost his bid for re-election to congress in november. i don't know if those are connected. next, howard dean. >> not only are we going to new hampshire, tom harken, we're going to south carolina, and oklahoma, and arizona, and north dakota and new mexico and we're going to california and texas and new york, and we're going to south dakota and oregon and washington, and michigan and
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then we're going to washington, d.c. to take back the white house! yeah! >> it's not fair, not at all, but that became the moment in howard dean's 2004 presidential run a rather heroic run, here are the clues, hurricane katrina, the fema director, the 43rd president. >> i want to thank you all for -- and brownie, you're doing a heck of a job, the fema director is working 24 -- they're working 24 hours a day. >> michael brown forever dubbed heck of a job brownie. that's "hardball" for now. coming up next, "your business" with j.j. ramberg. at limousine. current events. comfortable temperature. biceps. he maintains everything for your pleasure. he has the nicest car you can think of, but longer. with one hand he can roll down 10 windows plus the partition.
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